Crafts are all well and good, but a craft that promotes reading? Now that is stellar! You might think you it is perfectly acceptable to use a scrap of paper you found lying around as a bookmark. But I am here to tell you it is not! A bookmark that is both useful and pleasing to the eye is a glorious thing. My family has a large collection of bookmarks but our diy bookmarks hold a special place in my heart. And since your kids can't spend all their time reading, why not spend a little of the balance of their free time making one of these diy bookmarks for kids!
Below you will find several projects in the following categories:
- DIY paperclip bookmark ideas
- Artsy bookmark crafts
- Upcycled bookmark crafts
- Printable coloring page bookmarks
All of the bookmark ideas will save books from the dreaded dog ears and save you from losing your place! So get crafting, and then get reading!
DIY Paperclip Bookmarks
Ribbon bookmarks that are so magical your kids will never lose them! Bonus: even though they are fashioned using paper clips, they won't rip pages. Here's a video to show you how it's done - or head to the post if you prefer written instructions and to see several variations.
Handmade beaded bookmarks. Constructing these bookmarks will work those fine motor skills. If you use letter beads then kids can "write" messages or make them for friends by spelling out names. Bonus: my friend Ana shows you how to make paperclip bookmarks with perler beads!
Artsy DIY Bookmarks
Heart corner bookmarks even origami beginners can make. Aren't these the cutest! Even young kids can make them because the folding instructions aren't complicated. Make dozens in many different colors! Give them as valentines or birthday party favors. Or get together a group of kids for a bookmark crafting party. (That's my kind of party!)
In the following videos I show you two ways of folding the heart corner bookmarks.
Personalized watercolor resist bookmarks. My son made these one year for his teachers. They are not too complicated and if you laminate them afterwards they make a great gift. And you get to preserve that cute handwriting! Simply use watercolor paper and write a name on it in white crayon. Paint over the crayon with watercolors to reveal the letters!
Heart nosed creature bookmarks. My children and I made these diy bookmarks for kids as a guest post for Red Ted Art. Don't limit these cute bookmarks to just pink, either! Your kids can take the idea of monster-faced bookmarks and run with it!
Bookmarks from Upcycled Materials
Bookmarks made from postage stamps for reminiscing about places you'd like to visit. I started this tradition before my kids were born and I love continuing it with them. With the decline in paper mail, stamps become more and more of a novelty item and we keep every foreign stamp we get so we can turn them into bookmarks with a global theme! Use card stock and glue postage stamps in any way you like. To preserve the memories further, laminate or cover with plastic sticky paper. See more of the finished product here.
Bookmarks from calendar pages.
Instead of chucking those old calendars into the recycle bin, turn them into bookmarks to preserve the artwork you enjoyed looking at all year! Years ago I made these bookmarks from a Carl Larsson calendar. When your kids take down their LEGO or Star Wars or animal calendars, they will enjoy upcycling their favorite images! Cut out two bookmarks in desired size and glue them back to back so that each side of the bookmark is nice and fancy. To lengthen their life, laminate or cover your diy bookmarks with sticky-backed paper.
You could also make bookmarks from old children's books you pick up at thrift stores.
Printable bookmarks are so easy and even though the illustration is the same for everyone, kids can personalize them with their choice of colors, or by writing extra messages on the back. It's not strictly necessary, but I recommend printing the coloring pages out on card stock
- Summer by the sea bookmarks. There are four different designs, including a whale, seashells, surfboards and boats.
- Back to school bookmarks. Your children will love these kid-friendly illustrations of school supplies, transportation and animals.
- Summer reading bookmarks will inspire reading by the seashore with beach and ocean themed bookmarks.
- Peace, love and kindness bookmarks. It's a known fact that reading builds empathy and these bookmarks with messages of goodness on them will reinforce that!
- Mermaid bookmarks. Anyone who loves summer, the ocean or mythical creatures will enjoy tucking one of these bookmarks in between the pages of their book.
Don't forget to take good care of the bookmarks your kids make and in thirty-nine years they can save their reading place with their own creation, just as I still mark my place with this bookmark I made back in 1980. (Can I get a collective "awwwwww")
BONUS 10th BOOKMARK! DIY magnetic bookmarks, a super easy craft!